The Path of Oil media expedition participants visited the largest core repository in Russia. The one in Khanty-Mansiysk is the largest repository in Russia, with its capacity of as many as 960 thousand meters of core being stored within the area spanning 3600 sq.m. Maxim Vtorushin, head of the Laboratory for Environmental and Geological Information Preparation at Subsoil Geological Information Fund, with Dmitry Dobrovolsky, head of the Department for Collection, Storage and Core Research, and Olga Latypova, head of the Laboratory for Collection, Storage and Core and Sludge Studies met the students participants of the media expedition.


"We did smell and touch the deep layers of the Earth. It was a very unusual feeling," they said.

Employees of the research facility conducted a guided tour around the laboratories showing all stages of research there: initial works with whole core, sample preparation, material composition refinement, petrophysical features specification, strength properties characteristics, deposits geochemical characteristics, fluid physical and chemical characteristics specification.

It turns out that the core, selected from drilling wells, is a unique source material of extensive information about the subsoil geological structure, sedimentation conditions, the material composition of rocks, as well as the hydrocarbons contents in them. Real core material makes it possible to perform specific experiments aimed at calculating reserves and increasing the oil recovery on depleting fields in Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Yugra.

The Khanty-Mansiysk core repository, affiliated with the V.I. Shpilman Research and Analytical Centre for the Rational Use of the Subsoil collects and performs centralized long-term storage and operational research of core material extracted from within the autonomous okrug territory. The purpose of long-term storage is to ensure the core research not only by current but also future generations of exploration geologists.

"It reminds of a book repository", Olga Latypova said. – "At the moment, we are exploring wells that were drilled back in the 1980s, because new technologies are emerging. If the core is stored in good conditions, and we maintain constant humidity and temperature all year round, it retains its properties. A distinctive feature of the core repository is that the core material being stored is available to all interested enterprises, organizations, and individuals, taking into account the regulatory requirements for the use of geological information.

For core properties safety, core drills come in special boxes or insulated tubes. One-third of that is kept in its original form, and the other part is distributed for research purposes. Each core cell has its own e-address, in the event that the requestor needs a particular sample, they make a request to the Russian Federal Agency for Mineral Resources (Rosnedra) and get their authorized access to it.

"It was important for us to get to know that on December 9, 2005 Farman Salmanov, the distinguished Soviet geologist famous for discovering great oil fields in Western Siberia, visited this core repository, for as we are following his footsteps", the students said.